Find out how this Kildare farmer drives output on his dairy calf to beef farm
JOE FARRELL and his family will host a Teagasc Green Acres Calf to Beef farm walk on their farm outside of Castledermot, Co Kildare on April 25, starting at 11.00am.
The event will focus on Joe`s system of production, calf rearing and health, grassland management and financial performance. The Farrells run a mixed farm consisting of both a tillage and dairy calf to beef enterprises.
The farm was traditionally split equally between the tillage and the calf to beef enterprises, but with the continued poor prices for grain over the last few years Joe has reseeded more tillage ground and increased the cattle numbers.
Prior to joining the Teagasc Green Acres calf to beef programme, Joe purchased 80 Angus/ Hereford heifers and 15 Friesian bull calves from the dairy herd in the March/April period each year.
The 15 Friesians were slaughtered in June of the following year at less than 16 months of age and the heifers at 22 to 24 months in the December to March period.
Calves were always bought in at two to three weeks of age and reared on milk replacer, straw, fresh water plus concentrate for the first 10 weeks and then went to grass for their first grazing season receiving one kg of concentrate per day.
They were housed in mid to late November and fed silage and concentrates. the level of concentrate supplementation was based on the quality of the silage. The Friesian bulls were built up to ad lib feeding and slaughtered out of the shed in June.